Archive for Saturday, November 19, 2011

Agg beating: Jayhawks suffer worst blowout of season in 61-7 loss to Texas A&M

Kansas running back Darrian Miller is squeezed by the A&M defense in the first half Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 at Kyle Stadium in College Station, Texas.

Kansas running back Darrian Miller is squeezed by the A&M defense in the first half Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 at Kyle Stadium in College Station, Texas.

November 19, 2011


Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 61-7 loss to Texas A&M on Nov. 19, 2011.

KU coach Turner Gill opening statement after 61-7 loss to Texas A&M

KU coach Turner Gill gives an opening statement following the Jayhawks' 61-7 loss to Texas A&M on Nov. 19, 2011. Enlarge video

— With four games to play, and the 2011 season all but lost, the Kansas University football team turned to the slogan, "Remember November," in an attempt to find a way to fight through the final month.

After suffering a 61-7 beating on Saturday in front of a crowd of 86,411 at Texas A&M;'s Kyle Field, all anyone wants to do is forget.

"A slogan is a slogan," senior linebacker Steven Johnson said. "But at the end of the day, you still have to go out there and win games. And when you can't execute and do things like that, then a slogan can't back you up. You gotta go out there and work. You gotta have some substance about it."

This latest loss — arguably KU's most embarrassing in a season full of colossal failures — dropped the Jayhawks to 2-9 overall, 0-8 in Big 12 play and 0-3 in the month that was supposed to be different. There was no substance, only a variety of did-that-really-just-happen moments that allowed the Aggies (6-5, 4-4) to race out to a 23-0 lead after one quarter and a 44-0 lead at the half.

"It was a tough ballgame," KU coach Turner Gill said. "Guys just seemed like they didn't have the energy early, and Texas A&M; got after us pretty good. We got outcoached and outplayed."

Asked specifically how the Jayhawks were outcoached, Gill pointed to the start.

"For me, it's getting the guys ready to play," he said. "You gotta get your guys ready to play, and I didn't do a very good job of getting our guys ready to play at 11:10 today. So that's on me as a coach."

That's not to take anything away from Texas A&M;, which deserved plenty of credit for dismantling the Jayhawks. Despite being relieved midway through the game, A&M; quarterback Ryan Tannehill and tailback Cyrus Gray damaged the KU defense. Tannehill completed 21 of 26 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Gray added 94 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries.

Defensively, the Aggies were equally unruly, finishing with six sacks and limiting KU to 197 yards of total offense, including 64 rushing yards on 55 carries.

When the Aggies weren't having their way with the Jayhawks, the Jayhawks did all they could to help this one get out of hand.

First came a high snap from Tanner Gibas that sailed over punter Ron Doherty's head with 6:01 to play in the first quarter. By the time Doherty caught up to the ball, he was in the back of the end zone. The safety made it 9-0.

On the free kick that followed, Doherty kicked the ball out of bounds, giving A&M; possession at midfield. Six plays and two minutes later, wide receiver Ryan Swope (nine catches, 137 yards) got 10 yards behind the KU secondary and made the score 16-0 with his first of two touchdown catches.

After another Gray touchdown, A&M; regained possession when a shotgun snap to KU quarterback Jordan Webb hit running back Tony Pierson's leg as he ran in motion behind the line. Three plays later, Swope caught a Tannehill pass near the KU 20-yard line, took simultaneous hits from KU defenders Keeston Terry and Greg Brown, bounced off both and strolled into the end zone.

"There were a lot of missed opportunities going on," Brown said. "We progressed over the past two weeks, and we kind of regressed this game. As a defense, we gotta know how to get out of tough situations. We have to learn to overcome those issues, and I'm sure we'll come out with a better outcome."

During a first half in which it scored on six of its seven possessions, the Texas A&M; offense enjoyed an average starting field position of its own 48-yard line. Three of those drives started in KU territory.

As if that wasn't enough, Webb also threw an interception and lost a fumble in the dreadful first half, and the Aggies called timeout with 2:10 to play in order to save time to mount one more scoring drive.

"We were a little flat," Johnson said. "And I couldn't tell you why we were flat. Everything that could've went wrong just went wrong."

Not only was A&M;'s first-half onslaught efficient, it also happened quickly. The Aggies had the ball for just 8:24 in the first half — compared with 21:36 for KU — yet ran 33 plays and racked up 321 yards of offense. A&M;'s longest scoring drive in the first half took 2:03. Its shortest, 22 seconds.

The Aggies also never punted.

On a day with few bright spots, the Jayhawks found one on their final drive, when sophomore running back James Sims scored his ninth touchdown of the season from 15 yards out to prevent a shutout with 46 seconds to play.

"It meant a lot," said Sims, who finished with 88 yards on 19 carries. "It just meant that we didn't give up. The outcome was pretty bad, but we still stuck together and finished. That's what the coaching staff wanted us to do. They just wanted us to push forward and score before the end of the game."

Although lopsided scores are starting to become routine for the Kansas football program — the loss was KU's sixth by 30 or more points this season — most Jayhawks have not moved past the point of embarrassment. With 38 Texans on the KU roster, nowhere are the poor performances more painful than in Texas, where Gill's KU teams have been outscored 159-14 in three trips to The Lone Star State.

"It's frustrating coming back home and going out there competing, but it's not even looking like you're competing," said Brown, a native of Cedar Hill, Texas.

Added Johnson, when asked if Saturday's setback was a new low: "Yep."


Norm Jennings 6 years, 7 months ago

KU hired the wrong ex-Nebraska coach, get it right this time and steal Solich away from Ohio

ghostofrealityspeaks 6 years, 7 months ago

Like your thinking. Solich has turned Ohio around.

Steve Dittmann 6 years, 7 months ago

TG should be fired tomorrow, before the Border War finale. Let Chuck Long be the interim head coach for one game. Does anyone feel we'll be less competitive on Saturday with an interim coach?

If he's not fired then the AD is worthless and needs to go also.

If the AD's been told he can't fire him for financial reasons, then he should resign in protest tomorrow to salvage some level of self-respect and value as a future AD with another university. Why would he want to stay here anyway if his hands are tied in dealing with this debacle?

Fire TG or resign. Either way he'll be a hero.

Do nothing and he's just another worthless bureaucrat.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 7 months ago

Firing him now would cost the athletic department millions in buyout money. If not for that, he shouldn't stay after this season is over. But weighing the financial impacts of him staying or leaving, it might make more sense to keep him one more year. Purely from a monetary standpoint, not from a coaching standpoint. You never saw this in Glen Mason's second year or Mangino's second year. Even Terry Allen seemed to be able to get the team more together than this guy.

TLR 6 years, 7 months ago

Thank you Perkins.

Look at Sumerlin from Houston who should have been hired in the first place.

TongiJayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Can't image a recruit who would want commit to the Jayhawks. Those that did probably wish they hadn't. That was ugly!

heybluekc 6 years, 7 months ago

Ride it out one more year. As far as recruiting Bilal Marshall the 3 Star dual threat QB has stated that without Turner Gill he will look elsewhere to play. He has had 15 D-1 offers so I imagine if he did not want to come here he would look elsewhere already. Miller and Peirson might transfer out to if Gill is let go. I say ride this out one more year and let TG's 18 red shirt freshmen contribute next year. Of the nine who played as true freshmen this year I gotta say they look fairly decent. Too bad there is no Juniors and Seniors to help the team salidify. Firing Gill is not gonna help anything but have transfer outs and lose some commits.

6 years, 7 months ago

He has 18 red shirt freshmen? That does bode well for Gill. His recruiting class last year looks solid. He does not have very many signed yet but once the season is over he will fill the slots or - might wait until next year when things start to look better.

John Rinnert 6 years, 7 months ago

well, if you can't pull in the Basehor-Linwood talent, what hope would ANY team have?

heybluekc 6 years, 7 months ago

He played 11 man. Ransom Kansas. Near my hometown. They did not go eight man till late 80's.

6 years, 7 months ago

Maybe dad ought to understand that if BLHS were to play the Johnson Count 6A schools - BLHS = KU and the Olathe schools would be OU, TX, A&M, etc ...

KU's talent level is not where it needs to be at this time and will take time to develop.

As far as where your son plans on going - unless he is between 6'4" and 6'6" and weighs in the 275-300 range as a lineman he is not even the size of he KU lineman and unless he has outstanding speed to be a pulling guard he is not Big 12 talent.

Jason Bailey 6 years, 7 months ago

I love parents who taint their kids' minds with broad-brush generalization statements about a subset of the population in Lawrence (which is the transient part, by the way -- they come in August and leave in May). Was it KU or KSU that had EcoKat?

Regarding the subject at hand (recruits from big schools in Texas and OK, not BLHS...that's part of the problem with KU -- too much Kansas and not enough talented TX; I could go into a short novel describing why that is but won't), we are continually in this circular, negative feedback loop with Gill. We cannot get good recruits because we cannot win; we cannot win because we don't have talent.

Well, I disagree with that last part of that above statement. Snyder came back to KSU with about the same level of talent as we have right now. He's wrung every last drop of talent out of those kids via a coaching approach custom-made for where they're at as a team, and what each one of the players individually needs. That's what we need: new coaching blood. Someone who actually gets that coaching a team is more than just platitudes and catchy phrases.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

Absolute proof that spending millions upon millions upon millions on new athletic facilities will not produce a winning team. It is simply reckless spending which brings on inflation.

newmedia 6 years, 7 months ago

Trust me, we won't forget November, September, October or the prior 2010 season for that matter! Me thinks it's time for a new slogan among other things.

Matt1958 6 years, 7 months ago

I've defended Coach Gill on these boards before, but I admit, it's getting nearly impossible to continue.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 7 months ago

For me, it's getting the guys ready to play," he said. "You gotta get your guys ready to play, and I didn't do a very good job of getting our guys ready to play at 11:10 today. So that's on me as a coach."

Well then if that's the case Turner, then why do you want to continue coaching? You just dug yourself further in the hole.

Matt Kuhlman 6 years, 7 months ago

It's pretty hilarious to read the constant flurry of comments surrounding KU football this season because 99% of them ignore several basic truths:

  1. KU football has never been that good. Sure, they have their years (1968,1994,2008, off the top of my head) but overall a 2 win season is really not that big of a surprise from this program.

  2. Mangino wasn't so much a good coach as he was in the right place at the right time. In 2008 KU had an INCREDIBLY easy schedule, lost their only game vs. a ranked opponent, and won the Orange Bowl over Virginia Tech (not exactly a traditional powerhouse) by the skin of their teeth. They were lucky that year. The following year Mangino had basically the same team and had such a bad year that he lost his job. Same coach, same players, lousy year. Seems to go against the idea that a coach can have that big an effect on the success of a team, doesn't it?...

  3. And it is true that the coach in fact has much, much less influence on the success or failure of a team than people give them credit for. There are 80+ people on a college football team, and while the coach needs to be organized and have some basic understanding of strategy, the notion that one man can determine the results made by any number of athletes is absurd. The coach isn't the one playing, and the number one deciding factor in how good a team performs is talent. You can train and coach an average player as much as you want but all the training and coaching in the world isn't going to let them perform outside of their abilities. So it really doesn't matter whether you fire Turner Gill or not, the success or failure of KU football is in the quality of the players who are playing within a traditionally sub-par program.


drnater 6 years, 7 months ago

Your 3rd point is so off base its laughable. Coaching has a huge impact, the problem is people put that onto only one coach when its a group of coaches that fail together. Take Snyder, he came back and completely changed the approach of the team and how many assistant coaches has he taught and have gone on to be successful? Are you telling me that they had minimal impact on their teams? We used to have a saying about coaches. A good coach will make a decent player good, but he'll make a good player great. The best coaches can take talent, good or bad, and make them play way beyond their ability. Stoops, Brown, Gundy, Snyder, Pinkel, and even Rhoads do that. All of those teams have comletely different talent levels, but all of them have been winning this season because of great coaching.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 7 months ago

You can see it in Coach Gill's attitude during press conferences. When we lost 6-3 to an FCS school in the first game last year, and then listend to his conference, I knew the program was in trouble. There's no fire. You didn't get that from Mason or Mangino. Gill with the 2008 squad would have been lucky to go .500. This team does have talent. Maybe not BCS quality talent, but good talent, and they should be getting beaten like this.

cop62 6 years, 7 months ago

All due respect to Kuhlman - not all your facts are accurate and they make your response erroneous. Mangino won the year after the Orange Bowl and was fired - maybe wrongly - the following year. When Glen Mason was here in the late 80's and 90's KU started to make a positive mark in the fb program but he never had the support from Dr. Frederick and others to make the next step. Mark Mangino got it going but in the end his actions and some bad recruiting late hurt him. Then we hired Turner Gill who had a losing record at a MAC school and was not hired by the school that recruited him, coached him, hired him as an asst coach and had the AD there that is considered his great frriend. I will credit him that our recruiting has improved under Coach Gill but the other aspects of the program have declined dramatically. In no particular order - strength and conditioning program; defense coaching and accountability (see Def Coord comments after KSU game on "now we will make kids accountable at practice"); lack of coaching at halftime - check out our 3rd quarter numbers with any game we were competitive at the half; no on-field coaching on sidelines. Watch our players come off field after a series and see lack of interraction with coaching staff and compare it to the other sideline - any other sideline. And now our recruiting is starting to feel the pains - and throwing Coach Gill out there another season will only cement the decline with plahyers, fans/ticket sales. and recruits. KU needs to cut the losses, make the change with a coach with instant credibility and make a commitment.

riverdrifter 6 years, 7 months ago

This game will have surely cemented Zenger's decision to terminate Gill's contract -if it wasn't already made. Zenger and his staff are largely football-oriented people and they will have targeted a coach by now. Forget Leach and Tressel. It'll probably be somebody we've never (or scarcely) heard of. May he be the next Bill Snyder...

drnater 6 years, 7 months ago

If I had to guess I'd say they'd look for Venebles from OU, which seems like a likely choice. Mike got fired so his brother will be the one to give him a job back, and Venebles can only be an assistant being that successful for so long. Still I wouldnt mind Leach, he brings a chip on his shoulder, plus he's been very successful recruiting in Texas. I bet we dont get held under 10 points ever again with him. lol, but I like Venebles, we need a defensive minded coach. We could keep Chuck if he wanted to stay, they both have that OU tie and it would save money. Still a lot of ifs, like 6 million of them.

Mark Currie 6 years, 7 months ago

I commented in another post yesterday that I liked the Idea of Brent Venables too. Great idea !!

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